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    New toy/project, vintage goodness...

    Not an e30, but it's still vintage and cool nonetheless...

    It's a 1981 Kitamura MyCenter 2 with a Fanuc System 6m-b NC controller.

    Anyone into vintage machinery?



    john@m20guru.com
    Links:
    Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D

    #2
    What does it do?
    Estoguy
    1986 BMW 325, Alpenweiss ~ "Elsa"

    Need a photographer, come visit my site: http://estoguy.wix.com/unique-perspectives

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      #3
      Originally posted by estoguy View Post
      What does it do?

      It's a 3 axis CNC milling machine. (please excuse the decade old video :()

      john@m20guru.com
      Links:
      Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D

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        #4
        I wasn't aware until now that CNC was even a thing in 1981.
        sigpic
        1991 325i Sport - Calypsorot Metallic - DAILY DRIVEN

        WTB in SoCal: 8"/10" Lukebox, leather Sport steering wheel, 60L MotoMeter fuel gauge, Thule/Yakima roof rack

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          #5
          You should check out practicalmachinist.com. I have quite a few older CNC's. I don't know much about Kitamuras, but I've seen quite a few of them over the years. Is it BT40 or CT40? What do you plan to do with it?






          Originally posted by Vincent Brick View Post
          I wasn't aware until now that CNC was even a thing in 1981.
          Haha, it goes back long before 1981.

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            #6
            Bad Ass.
            Lorin


            Originally posted by slammin.e28
            The M30 is God's engine.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Vincent Brick View Post
              I wasn't aware until now that CNC was even a thing in 1981.
              Oh, it was. In fact automated machines date back to WWI, but early machines used cams to actuate the tools, rather then a computer. It was about WWII.

              EDIT: Link to a cool little intro article http://www.cmsna.com/blog/2013/01/hi...cept-was-born/

              Originally posted by BillBrasky View Post
              You should check out practicalmachinist.com. I have quite a few older CNC's. I don't know much about Kitamuras, but I've seen quite a few of them over the years. Is it BT40 or CT40? What do you plan to do with it?
              BT35 holders.

              I have been poking around on Practical Machinist and CNC Zone for years. Actually just made an account to help diagnose a spindle board problem - the very reason I got the machine in the first place.

              It's a long story, but will try to keep it short, I learned how to CAM/CAD because of this machine. A friend of mine had started his own shop and I would go over there every night and program and/or run this machine (he was not PC savvy at all, but great machinist). In exchange he would let me make and sell small batches of parts I came up with for my automotive tinkering. After a couple years in, our mutual friend passed away who also owned a machine shop - but his was full of old Swiss, Brown and Sharp screw machines and a few manuals. The Kitamura was moved over there and he sold off his large CNC lathe.

              I would still go over there and program for him, help set up jobs and whatnot, until he too passed away, with his partner taking over the shop. By this time I had almost no access to the machine except to program, or troubleshoot etc - but - kept going over there and helping him through the past few years. Mind you, all this time I had in the back of my head "why do I always do this without any compensation".

              Well, back in Sept. I stopped in just to say hi since I was making a delivery in the area. We got on the conversation about me wanting a lathe and a mill for odd jobs around my shop. He told me he was getting a new machine and I could have one of the Bridgeports if I would get it out of his way. I happily obliged.

              Fast forward two weeks and he calls me again. Said he is fed up with the Kitamura, said he was ready to strip the electronics and put it out for scrap unless I came to take it! I was beside myself. Over the past 7 yrs a lot of money has been put into it. New X servo motor, rebuilt spindle drive motor, new tool changer magazine servo, new spindle bearings, new limit switches, the list goes on. He had misdiagnosed the spindle problem to be the NC control buttons, so he even replaced a whole bank of buttons - we have since diagnosed it to be a low voltage problem in the spindle board. He was just tired of spending time/money on it, and went and bought a 1995 model Kitamura MyCenter 1, fully enclosed and a much better 15k spindle max, twice as many tool capability, and now he has rigid tapping.

              He said he was giving me the machine for all the years of service I had provided without charging him. :)

              Also gave me a couple handfuls of tool holders, and all the tapping holders since the new machine can rigid tap.

              Either way, everyone keeps asking me "What are you going to make on it?". Well, for starters the PO is giving me production work for it, small parts, so I will be able to keep a vice/fixture on the machine to run his production parts, and we will no longer have to sub out our own machine work, plus we have a few idea on the table for new products. He is a turning (lathe) man, has been for 40yrs, so he is excited to have this machine in my shop so I can help him make full assemblies instead of him only doing the round parts for his clients. He is commissioning me to model parts and program his machine, as well as sharing work for mine. He has the new Kitamura plus a really nice Brothers mill, but has been turning down mill work. Good for both parties.

              Anyways enough rambling, just overly excited about it. Had to run more electric in the shop, as well as upgrading the breaker box - it was already full prior to the mills getting here. Been using all my spare time getting this thing cleaned up, and hopefully operational soon. Could just go and buy a $2k circuit board, but what's the fun in that? lol.
              john@m20guru.com
              Links:
              Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D

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                #8
                Originally posted by ForcedFirebird View Post
                Could just go and buy a $2k circuit board, but what's the fun in that? lol.
                Indeed.

                IG @turbovarg
                '91 318is, M20 turbo
                [CoTM: 4-18]
                '94 525iT slicktop, All-forged M50B30 + S366SX-E project

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                  #9
                  Wow super cool! My neighbor is a retired engineer from Los Alamos Labs. He has a shop with 2 machines that look similar to that plus some laser cnc thing that he says is worth over 200k. I love going over there and helping him with stuff (he is getting up in age). But I think I secretly hope someday he will do the same for me and be like " come get this thing". I can only dream right.

                  Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
                  sigpic

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                    #10
                    Woo woo! Good for you John. Excited to see you pumping out some parts soon with this thing.


                    '73 2002 m20 turbo [sold] '87 rat rod 325is [couch modded] '91 vert [daily] '88 325is [spec build v1] '84 325 [spec build v2] '99 323i vert [sold]

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by varg View Post
                      Indeed.
                      Board went back in today, no dice :(

                      Still 19.8-20.1v on the 24v leg...

                      Originally posted by joecrotch View Post
                      Wow super cool! My neighbor is a retired engineer from Los Alamos Labs. He has a shop with 2 machines that look similar to that plus some laser cnc thing that he says is worth over 200k. I love going over there and helping him with stuff (he is getting up in age). But I think I secretly hope someday he will do the same for me and be like " come get this thing". I can only dream right.

                      Sent from my SM-N910V using Tapatalk
                      It was like a dream, for sure. Be diligent, and learn the trade. It's amzing what happens with the 'ol "one man's trash, another man's treasure"...

                      Originally posted by AbsorbantNut View Post
                      Woo woo! Good for you John. Excited to see you pumping out some parts soon with this thing.
                      Hopefully and thanks. Not like anything will end up on one of your cars someday :P

                      Got to get some pics uploaded, but all the cool pics didn't make the machine fully run today. Hopefully Varg's solution pulls through.
                      john@m20guru.com
                      Links:
                      Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D

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                        #12
                        Keep in mind that if you have already determined which part is bad, there are a bunch of people on ebay constantly parting out all of these old machines. Usually ARPI Machinery out of Los Angeles has a good selection of Fanuc 6 parts. I have Nakamura-Tome Slant 3 and Slant 4 lathes that both have Fanuc 6T-B controls. The good thing is that the B model you have was the first one with an RS-232 port. The bad thing is that the Fanuc 6 has the same computing power that almost blew up Three Mile Island.

                        BT-35 has pretty much been phased out over the years and your only real choices are some of the cheap Taiwanese and Polish brands. Small Tools in Cleveland has a good selection of used quality tool holders. If you don't already have them, get yourself a few tension/compression tap holders so you can tap without the rigid tapping option. Good luck getting it fixed!

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by BillBrasky View Post
                          Keep in mind that if you have already determined which part is bad, there are a bunch of people on ebay constantly parting out all of these old machines. Usually ARPI Machinery out of Los Angeles has a good selection of Fanuc 6 parts. I have Nakamura-Tome Slant 3 and Slant 4 lathes that both have Fanuc 6T-B controls. The good thing is that the B model you have was the first one with an RS-232 port. The bad thing is that the Fanuc 6 has the same computing power that almost blew up Three Mile Island
                          John has been scouring the web for parts and boards, this much I know. I joined in the search and did some board testing and circuit tracing and haven't found anything conclusive that could be causing the drop in the voltage on the 24V rail yet, all voltages seem fine before the board. What would really help on the board diagnostic side would be a full schematic for this exact board (A20B-0008-0376/0208D) or at least a similar one. Hopefully John's search of the forums turns something up.

                          It's a really cool machine, and I'd love to see it up and running.

                          IG @turbovarg
                          '91 318is, M20 turbo
                          [CoTM: 4-18]
                          '94 525iT slicktop, All-forged M50B30 + S366SX-E project

                          Comment


                            #14
                            As Varg said, I have been doing a lot of searching, even had a member of Practical Machinist PM me who has the same machine. Makes me wonder just how many of these are still running today.

                            Apparently there's a couple things to watch out for on the older Kitamuras. There are no gibs, so when the Z wears the Trucite has to be replaced. Also the spindle bearings are known to go, but since they were replaced, the machine has been well taken care of. Never under a lot of stress, or made many rapid/jarring motions. It's been making slots and flats on screws.

                            The gentleman that PM'd me said he has replaced his a few times, and sent me some plans to make a guard to keep chips from getting in the lower bearing. He said he runs his at 7k RPM doing contours, and leaves it all night running, though. I don't know as if we ever even ran this one to 5k (it's max), it's been running at 12-1800.

                            This machine doesn't do rigid tapping, so he did give me the spring holders he had - the 1995 does (Fanuc System O).

                            Yes, the rs232 is handy, specially when coupled to MasterCAM. I use version 8 in a Virtual Box running XP on my Windows 10 laptop, and have an old t43 that will be dedicated to the CNC. I will eventually figure out a way to drip feed/DNC since the memory in this is so tiny (16k, up to 512k available). I can get about 100 or so lines of code, a bit more when deleting the line numbers etc.

                            As far as the BT35, there are still tons of them available used still, doubt I will ever buy a new one as they last a long time - specially seeing that cutting oil will be used, not water soluble.

                            For the spindle board, saw some used, $900 seems average, $1900 for a refurb. It will be a last resort, though. The boards in this thing are thick and have full size components that are easy to de and re solder. We already repaired the power supply. It would randomly shut down, tested and replaced some caps and re-flowed it. Hasn't shut down since - now if the spindle would just turn lol.
                            Last edited by ForcedFirebird; 12-29-2015, 01:14 PM.
                            john@m20guru.com
                            Links:
                            Transaction feedback: Here, here and here. Thanks :D

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                              #15
                              This is awesome. Now wanna machine me a billet valve cover for m10 haha


                              1989 325is l 1984 euro 320i l 1970 2002 Racecar
                              1991 318i 4dr slick top


                              Euro spec 320i/Alpina B6 3.5 project(the never ending saga)
                              Vintage race car revival (2002 content)
                              Mtech 2 turbo restoration
                              Brilliantrot slick top "build"

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